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5 best footballers dropped from Netherlands 26-man squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Netherlands v Gibraltar - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Netherlands v Gibraltar - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

The Netherlands will make their long-awaited return to the FIFA World Cup this month and coach Louis van Gaal has picked a 26-man roster for the tournament. The European giants will have a point to prove in Qatar, having missed out on the last edition of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.


Netherlands will be hoping to put on a good showing at the FIFA World Cup

Van Gaal has opted for a mix of youth and experience and will be hopeful of his side going far in Qatar. With Georginio Wijnaldum the only notable absentee through injury, the former Manchester United and Barcelona manager had a full-strength pool to pick from.

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk will be at his first FIFA World Cup and is likely to start their opener alongside Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt. The likes of Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, Denzel Dumphries and Cody Gakpo have also made the final squad.

Youngsters Xavi Simons and Jeremie Frimpong were among the Oranje's most surprising inclusions for the tournament. Both players have notably impressed for their respective club sides this season,

After a second-place finish in 2010 and a third-place finish in 2014, the Dutch team will be looking to reach the final for the second time in 10 years in Qatar.

Louis van Gaal names Holland's World Cup squad for Qatar, but finds no room for in-form Sven Botman or Bayern Munich star Ryan Gravenberch trib.al/eWhlzO1

A number of top players have been left out of the Netherlands squad for the FIFA World Cup, as is expected with any quality team ahead of any major tournament.

Without further ado, here is a list of the five best players who have been left out of the Netherlands squad for the FIFA World Cup.


#5 Donny Van De Beek

Donny van de Beek in action for the Netherlands during a UEFA Nations League game against Italy
Donny van de Beek in action for the Netherlands during a UEFA Nations League game against Italy

Manchester United midfielder Donny van De Beek is one of the biggest names to miss out on the Netherlands' 2022 FIFA World Cup squad.

The 25-year-old left AFC Ajax for Manchester United a couple of summers back and has since lost his place in the Dutch set-up. Van De Beek has struggled for form and consistency since moving to England, and even a loan move to Everton did not help him find his best self.

The midfielder has been used sparingly at Old Trafford so far this season and has only seven appearances to his name across all competitions. He has also copped plenty of criticism for his sub-par displays for Manchester United.

Van De Beek made his Netherlands debut in 2017 and has gone on to play for his country 19 times. His last appearance for the Oranje was in March 2021, and he was also left out of the Dutch squad for UEFA Euro 2020.


#4 Sven Botman

Sven Botman has excelled for Newcastle United this season
Sven Botman has excelled for Newcastle United this season

Newcastle defender Sven Botman has risen to prominence since moving to St. James' Park in the summer. The 22-year-old central defender was, however, not included among the 26 players who will represent the Netherlands in Qatar.

Botman is a left-footed centre-back with quality on and off the ball. The former LOSC Lille man courted interest from Serie A champions AC Milan before eventually moving to Newcastle United.

He has become a mainstay in the Magpies' defense and has made 14 appearances in all competitions this season. The Dutchman has played a key role in Newcastle holding the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League this term.

Botman is still awaiting a first senior call-up for his country, having represented them in every age group. His exclusion from the FIFA World Cup squad raised a few eyebrows due to his impressive form at club level.


#3 Ryan Gravenberch

Ryan Gravenberch in action for the Netherlands during a FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier against Latvia
Ryan Gravenberch in action for the Netherlands during a FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier against Latvia

Rising star Ryan Gravenberch is yet another player who has been overlooked by Van Gaal ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 20-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder moved to German giants Bayern Munich from AFC Ajax over the summer but has failed to nail down a regular starting berth.

Gravenberch's lack of game time seems to have had an adverse impact on his World Cup chances. The midfielder has one goal and an assist in 16 appearances for the German champions, most of which have come as a substitute.

Gravenberch has already represented the Netherlands at the senior level, even playing in a major tournament (Euro 2020). The youngster has made 11 appearances for his country since his debut in 2021. His last appearance for the Oranje was in their win over Belgium in September 2022.


#2 Arnaut Danjuma

Arnaut Danjuma in action for Netherlands during an international friendly against Denmark
Arnaut Danjuma in action for Netherlands during an international friendly against Denmark

Villarreal wing wizard Arnaut Danjuma is an omission that took many football fans by surprise. The exciting winger has been a top player for the Yellow Submarine, but will not be at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Danjuma impressed Villarreal in their 2021-22 UEFA Champions League semifinals run and was linked with a move to England. The 25-year-old has, however, struggled for form and fitness since the start of the 2022-23 season.

He has four goals in only 14 appearances for Villarreal in all competitions this season.

📍OFFICIAL: The Netherlands squad for the 2022 World Cup! 🇳🇱🏆Both Arnaut Danjuma and Donny van de Beek are not included in Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands World Cup squad. https://t.co/LSK2GQQH5a

Danjuma has made six senior appearances for the Oranje so far, scoring two goals. The winger was not included in the squad that played at Euro 2020 and his last appearance for his country was in March 2022.


#1 Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen in action for Netherlands during a UEFA Nations League encounter against Portugal
Jasper Cillessen in action for Netherlands during a UEFA Nations League encounter against Portugal

Veteran goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is among the most experienced players to have been dropped from the Netherlands' 2022 FIFA World Cup squad. He was notably in the Dutch squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and is still playing at a high level.

Cillessen spent six years in Spain with Barcelona and Valencia before returning to his boyhood club NEC Nijmegen over the summer. The 33-year-old has made 12 appearances for the club in the Eredivisie this season and has three clean sheets to his name.

Cillessen made his national team debut under Van Gaal in 2013 and has represented his country 63 times in his career. He was his country's first-choice custodian for most of his career, and was in goal throughout the 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Cillessen missed out on Euro 2020 after he contracted COVID-19 and his last appearance for the Netherlands was in June 2022.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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